Winnipeg – Not that there is any particular rush for Jets General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff to get a deal done with restricted free agent Jacob Trouba. It’s not like the fourth year defenceman is going anywhere.
Although we are about 6 weeks away from the start of the World Cup of Hockey, and you’d THINK the player and his agent would like to have a deal done before the opening tournament games on Sept 17th.
Tuesday’s 6 year – 30 million dollar contract agreement between the Detroit Red Wings and blue liner Dan DeKeyser could arguably be a template for a future deal between Winnipeg and Trouba.
DeKeyser is older at 26, after being signed by Detroit in 2013 as a highly sought after free agent out of Western Michigan. So he’ll be 33 when that deal expires at the end of the 2021-22 season. In 234 career NHL games, the 6-3 and 190 pound left shot defenceman has scored 14 goals and added 61 assists for 75 points while averaging 21:17 in ice time.
The 6-3 and 200 pound Trouba is only 22, but his stats are very comparable at 23-49-72 in 211 games. He does play about 2 shifts more on an average night than DeKeyser at 22:34 per game. So taking all that into account, should Trouba’s deal be more in line with the 8 year, 49 million dollar contract team mate Mark Scheifele signed earlier this season?
By signing for the maximum 8 years, Trouba would be only 31 when he gained unrestricted free agency. Still young enough, even by current NHL standards, to be in line for one more mega pay day before calling it a career.
So far this off season, the DeKeyser contract, and the 6 year – 32.4 M (5.4M AAV) of Seth Jones with Columbus are about as close as there is for establishing something resembling market value for the Jets and Trouba’s agent Kurt Overhardt.
It would be a real stretch to include the 8 year, 60 million dollar contract (7.5M AAV) Florida signed 20 year old Aaron Ekblad to, or Victor Hedman’s 8 year, 63 million dollar (7.875M AAV) deal with Tampa Bay. You could not talk the Panthers or Lightning into trading either of their stud defencemen straight up for Trouba, so the pay cheques should reflect that.
And the prediction here is that the Jets 2012 first round pick will eventually settle for something in the neighborhood of 8 years for 50 million dollars- if both sides are going to walk away from the b bargaining table, feeling like they agreed on a fair deal.